Analysis After Week 5

Another weekend of college football is in the books, and things are getting clearer as some of the top tier teams start knocking each other off. Let’s see what we learned.

1. Alabama actually can play defense. Still, only 9 points in the first half. Inconsistency is killing the Tide. I have no idea whatsoever how any objective observer votes them No. 1 over Oregon. No idea. Here’s something to chew on though. Look at how soft Alabama’s schedule is. Virginia Tech may finish the season ranked. Texas A&M will. Ole Miss probably won’t. That means at season’s end Alabama will have played two ranked teams. Two. Maybe as many as four. Then there’s two games against FCS teams Georgia State and Chattanooga. This qualifies as No. 1? Seriously? Pathetic.

2. Meanwhile, Oregon hasn’t allowed over 16 points and has scored over 54 per game, most of those points coming in the first half. They have Washington, UCLA and Stanford on the schedule, all top 15 teams. Utah has an outside chance of being ranked and Oregon State has a good chance of getting there as well. Plus Arizona is no slouch. Way tougher schedule than Alabama. Way more deserving of the No. 1 spot.

3. What happened to defense in the SEC? 44-41 was the score of Georgia’s win over LSU. South Carolina surrendered 25 to UCF. Tennessee gave up 24 to South Alabama. Arkansas and Texas A&M went to 45-33. Vandy gave up 24 to UAB. What the heck? Alabama shut out Ole Miss but gave up 42 to Texas A&M. Is defense now optional in the SEC? I can here the homers now. “We just have really good offenses!” Yeah, that’s what you were saying the last few years about the SEC vs. Big 12 debate too, right? Talking about the good offenses in the Big 12? I’m calling B.S. here. The SEC defense sucks. I said it. Only Florida has shown consistency on that side of the ball. Look at the top defenses in the country though and SEC teams are hard to find.

4. Which leads me to the Pac-12. Best conference right now? With Lane Kiffin out at USC they just got a lot better. They have four teams in the top 15. Let’s rate them against the SEC. First, we order the SEC:

1. Alabama
2. Georgia
3. LSU
4. Texas A&M
5. South Carolina
6. Florida
7. Ole Miss
8. Missouri
9. Arkansas
10. Auburn
11. Vanderbilt
12. Tennessee
13. Mississippi State
14. Kentucky

Not bad top to bottom. Let’s order the Pac-12:

1. Oregon
2. Stanford
4. Washington
5. Arizona State
6. Oregon State
7. Arizona
8. USC
9. Utah
10. Washington State
11. Cal
12. Colorado

So let’s do groupings. How does Alabama fare against Oregon? I give the edge to Oregon. Georgia and Stanford? Close. UCLA and LSU? Probably LSU. Washington and Texas A&M? Toss up. Let’s look at the bottom four. Utah, Washington State, Cal and Colorado up against Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Mississippi State and Kentucky? Pac-12 has the edge. Middle of the pack? Tough call, SEC maybe but they have more teams so depends how you slice it.

Either way, these two conferences have pulled away from the pack and shown they are the best at this point. I really do hope we get the Pac-12 champ against the SEC champ in the BCS title game, but we’ll see.

5. The rankings are pretty close, but not on point. Here’s a rule I will take. I will go through the AP poll and look at the top team and the team ranked below them and guess who would likely win head to head. I’ll go down this way and reorder the rankings appropriately. Here we go.

1. Oregon – I don’t see anyone able to beat them.
2. Alabama – Haven’t seen enough from anyone below to show they can beat them
3. Clemson – I give them the edge over the teams below
4. Stanford – Ohio State has looked pretty weak
5. Georgia – See above
6. Ohio State – I can’t see them beating any of those top 5
7. LSU – If Saturday’s game had been at home, they would be undefeated
8. Louisville – Florida State has looked vulnerable
9. Texas A&M – In spite of having no defense, they haven’t needed one
10. Oklahoma – I sure wouldn’t want to play them right now
11. UCLA – Seminoles just don’t look that sharp
12. Florida State – Very close here
13. Washington – We’ll learn a lot about them when they go to Stanford
14. Miami – They finally look for real again
15. South Carolina – Somewhat inconsistent on both sides of the ball
16. Florida – Losing their QB was the best thing to happen to them.
17. Baylor – Let’s see them play a real team.
18. Northwestern – Big test this Saturday to prove their mettle.
19. Texas Tech – Biggest surprise in the top 25 right now
20. Michigan – Definition of inconsistent right here.
21. Arizona State – Seem much better at home than on the road.
22. Maryland – That shutout of West Virginia is suddenly looking pretty good.
23. Oklahoma State – Really not sure how they came out so flat against West Virginia.
24. Fresno State – Close call at Hawaii but could be on their way to busting the BCS.
25. Ole Miss – Getting shutout is always embarrassing. Northern Illinois probably belongs here.

What do you think?